MLK Also Had a Nightmare by Milicent Cranor
In honor of Martin Luther King Day, WhoWhatWhy looks back through the history of American racism, at the kind of hatred and atrocities that spurred King into action. Rather than the stuff of dreams, much of it was from a living nightmare.


Obama Plays Robin Hood 
The President will go on the offensive during tomorrow’s State of the Union speech by proposing a sweeping tax proposal, including an increase on capital gains taxes from 25% to 28%, new tax credits for middle- and low-income earners and a new fee on the biggest banks. Buoyed by a spike in his approval rating and driven by a desire to corner the GOP politically, the proposal will probably stall in the GOP-led Congress. But it will set the Democrats’ agenda heading into 2016.

Oxfam Study Finds Richest 1% Is Likely to Control Half of Global Wealth by 2016
The rich keep on getting richer—that’s according to a new study released Monday by Oxfam International. As the globe’s economic elites make their way to Davos amid growing instability and deflation fears in Europe, Oxfam’s study found that the “80 wealthiest people in the world altogether own $1.9 trillion” which is “nearly the same amount shared by the 3.5 billion people who occupy the bottom half of the world’s income scale.”

New Snowden Documents Show That the NSA and Its Allies Are Laughing at the Rest of the World
The NSA and GCHQ have been preparing to wage cyberwar for a long time. They’re so confident about their ability to crush all comers that they’ve been cracking jokes and quoting movie monologues in heretofore classified slideshows. “One of the major themes from the new documents involves the ability of Five Eyes intelligence agencies to exploit the methods of its adversaries — efforts to ‘steal their tools, tradecraft, targets, and take,’” according to a synopsis by The Verge. It certainly makes one wonder about the veracity of the continued claim that North Korea hacked Sony.


How the U.S. Army Plans to Defeat the Unthinkable: Drone Swarms
The United States has enjoyed a long, unchallenged advantage in the development and deployment of military drones. Although the people of Pakistan haven’t enjoyed it, the U.S. has been able to dominate the air with flying killer robots. But now the Pentagon is taking note of the fact that the rest of the world is starting catch on and, according to the National Interest, could deploy “swarms of drones, perhaps tens or dozens or hundreds, spying or striking at U.S. troops.” Coyly referred to as “a poor man’s form of asymmetric warfare,” the Pentagon is working with the defense industry to create weapons—like lasers—that can attack the drone swarms and kamikaze robots that, so far, are only the stuff of video games.


‘American Sniper’ Complaints Grow in Hollywood: Should Clint Eastwood Be Celebrating a ‘Killer’? (Exclusive)
The controversy around Eastwood’s latest movie is growing on the heels of a record-setting weekend at the box office. The film about Navy SEAL sharpshooter Chris Kyle made $105.3 million during the Martin Luther King holiday weekend. That’s the best-ever performance by a film with a January release. Nonetheless, many inside Hollywood are responding to criticism that the Best Picture nominee glorifies “an unrepentant killer who bragged about seeing all Iraqis as ‘savages,’ and also made some unverifiable claims that aren’t included in his book, including being recruited by the government to shoot looters from the roof of the Superdome in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.” That last claim isn’t far-fetched.

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